Educators the key to long-term childcare services in Corryong.
Attracting qualified and passionate staff to deliver children’s services in Corryong is the key to ensuring that families from the Upper Murray have access to an ongoing service. Towong Shire Council recognises there is significant community concern regarding limited access to early years services, particularly childcare and Outside of School and Holiday Care (OSHC) in the Upper Murray.
Council staff have been working closely with Corryong College, Peekaboo and the community to address concerns regarding the limited availability of childcare. While there is a strong commitment from all parties, the inability to attract appropriately qualified staff has meant that a solution is yet to be found to ensure services continue and sadly, there is a very real risk that without additional staff, services will cease.
“Delivering children's services in rural communities is challenging. Being a small community located so far from the regional centre of Albury/Wodonga means that it is difficult to attract and retain qualified staff." Cr Andrew Whitehead, Mayor of Towong Shire Council, said.
"Over many years there has been no shortage of attempts by Peekaboo to offer a range of incentives, including overseas migration options, to attract suitably qualified staff to the Upper Murray. Council has also been advertising online for early years roles over the past few months. Whilst we have had a small number of qualified applicants, most of whom are now employed by Council in our existing services, we still have not had enough interest to help support a viable childcare option in the Upper Murray.”
Cr Whitehead also said it was not the first-time communities in Towong Shire had been faced with this challenge. “In December 2018, the communities of Bellbridge and Bethanga faced an almost immediate closure of their existing service. Thank fully, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, Council was able to secure the staff required to continue the services.
We were able to employ staff from Albury/Wodonga and the surrounding areas on that occasion. Unfortunately finding staff for the Upper Murray has been far more difficult.
"The Upper Murray is a wonderful place to live and work, and if you or anyone you know is looking for new career opportunities Council is looking for people with a passion for early years education with qualifications including certificates, diplomas or bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education or youth. For those looking to enter the sector a competitive traineeship program, with support in place to help you succeed is also available."
For further information please visit www.towong.vic.gov.au/1-council/careers or contact our Coordinator Early Years at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 365 222.